Art therapy gives the clients a chance to perceive, express themselves and communicate effectively during a secure therapeutic session with the therapist. Art therapy can be held as one-to-one sessions or as group sessions. This is often used in educational institutes, psychiatric wards, in art psychotherapy, self-development groups, nursing homes, rehabilitation programs, prisons and many other places which require psychological counseling.
Art therapy digs deep into the subconscious of individuals. This world is a reservoir of innovation, individuality, and power, but also is a container of negativity. Art therapy utilizes various art forms to release this negativity and communicate with the subconscious to stimulate growth and positivity.
Art therapy is a new-born in the world of psychotherapy. This has been introduced at the appropriate time where people are lonely and lost and battling misery in this materialistic world where genuine relationships are seldom found.
The British Association of Art Therapists states that art therapy is utilized to overcome physical, emotional and learning disabilities, neurological conditions and other kinds of illnesses. The American Art Therapy Association defines this as a taxonomic process by which people increase self-awareness, strength and confidence and cognitive abilities to battle stress and trauma.
Therapeutic Features of Art Therapy:
The previous definitions can be comprehended only by a practitioner, not by the layman who is hurt and desperately seeking solutions. Evidence of how art therapy can help overcome depression can be realized if you consider your emotional journey when viewing art. Some of them are:
• Enhanced Concentration:
If you’ve ever seen an artist work, you would see them with pursed lips and wrinkled brows. However, these are not signs of stress but of intense concentration where the artist has drowned in his world of creativity. Art therapy encourages this by relieving your mind of the sadness and fear, at least for a short time. Following this, you emerge fresh and happy with focused thoughts which will help you handle tough situations efficaciously.
• Improved Flow:
The calming after-effects of art therapy can be observed in an individual’s behavior. Art therapy promotes this by encouraging people to lose themselves in their thoughts, to make something beautiful. This effect is known as "being in flow, " and the activities that relate to this leaves the person de-stressed.
• Self Development:
Art therapy is not only about just painting on a canvas or making masks. It is a profound and fulfilling hobby that allows people to express their thoughts. Psychotherapists claim that having a hobby makes your life a hundred times enjoyable, especially if you are saddled with worries and stress.
What are the Advantages of Art Therapy?
Art therapy is an effective mode of visual communication. Sometimes people who don't want to talk about their dark experiences find it easier to convey the message on paper, at their pace. This is also an excellent mode of communication for highly articulate people and children who have speech or learning disabilities.
Art therapy automatically records the healing process unlike other therapeutic approaches and provides a tangible record. Images registered on paper have more real thoughts embedded into them, which can be shared with others or saved for review. Art therapy combines self-exploration with fun to make people awe at their creativity. Any form of art: writing, music, dancing or drama paves the way to the deepest forms of self-healing.
There’s indeed no doubt that creating art is therapeutic!